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 Top 10 Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Your New Hybrid Car Battery

 

What is a hybrid car?

 

If a vehicle uses two or more distinct types of power to operate, such vehicles are called hybrid vehicles. Any automobile whose mechanism matches the mentioned definition is known as a hybrid car. A hybrid car uses both an internal-combustion engine and an electric motor for propulsion. However, the only fuel it depends on is gasoline. Hybrid automobiles contain small high-voltage batteries to power their electric motors but they can’t be plugged in.

 

Without any external power source, the hybrid car generates the electricity that’s required for its motor through a process called Regenerative Braking. In short, this is known as regen. Regenerative Braking system exists as a crucial alternative to the traditional brakes. The regen system gathers electrical energy and saves it in the battery.        

 

Hybrid Car Battery

 

As mentioned above, a hybrid car possesses the technologies of both electric vehicles and traditional vehicles. Also, the process called regenerative braking contributes to the recharging of its electric battery. In hybrid vehicles, the energy that is produced when the driver puts pressure on the brake pedal causes the recharging of the electric battery. When running, the hybrid car’s mechanism switches between electric power and gas power. This is the key to its marvelous energy efficiency. 

 

A hybrid battery consists of two electrodes sitting in an electrolyte solution. A polymer film that sits between these two electrodes prevents short-circuiting. When the car is turned on, these electrodes are bridged. In reality, this battery is literally a battery pack that contains multiple cells. Altogether, these cells create the massive charge that’s used to power the car. 

 

Despite their popularity, hybrid vehicles also have drawbacks and one of them is the limited lifespan of the hybrid vehicle battery. They have a limited warranty (mostly 8 years or 100k miles) but some fail even before the time. The battery is essential for the running of the vehicles so, having to buy new batteries from time to time increases the vehicle maintenance cost.             

 

Tips to extend the life of the hybrid car battery 

 

It’s not only one’s finances that take a hit when they have to replace the battery from time to time. Despite being more environmentally friendly than the lead-based batteries in conventional cars today, hybrid car batteries also considerably harm the environment. Therefore, putting an effort to make the best of the battery has something more than personal gains.

 

Here are 10 applicable methods that ensure the longevity of the hybrid car battery.

1.Drive the car regularly

 

Sitting idly for too long can have negative effects on the human body. The same goes with hybrid cars too. If the automobile went too long without being driven, the battery can become depleted which eventually leads to failure. Therefore, it’s important to drive the car regularly. At least, for a short trip like circling the block. That exercise can help keep the hybrid car battery charged and in a better condition.

2.Follow a healthy driving style that suits the battery

 

Drivers are advised to refrain from doing rapid acceleration and hard braking because it strains the battery making it degrade quickly. When taking off, the driver is supposed to tap the accelerator lightly and speed up at a steady pace. Also, they should drive smoothly being careful not to put the pedal to the metal too many times. Also, they should coast to a stop when braking. Kinetic energy is essential for the battery to charge and coasting causes kinetic energy.           

3.Avoid extreme temperatures

 

The batteries function at their best in a certain temperature range. Therefore, the fluctuations in temperature can affect them negatively. So, when it comes to driving a hybrid vehicle, it’s better to avoid extreme weather conditions so that the battery doesn’t experience too hot or too cold atmospheres. Also, the owners should use a shaded space or a garage for parking so that the hybrid car is not exposed to sunlight for long periods. Especially, the extreme heat accelerates the chemical reactions in the battery which eventually leads to reduced efficiency and lifespan.       

4.Choose the right tires

 

Even one’s choice of tires can affect the hybrid car’s battery health. The right set of tires can increase fuel efficiency and it can reduce the strain on the battery. Low rolling resistance tires can bring the desired effect. 

5.Never cover high-voltage battery fan vent 

 

The location where the fan gets installed depends on the hybrid model. It’s overheating that can affect the high-voltage battery fan the most. Some poor practices can make the fan clogged. Dirty filters and the vents covered with stuff are examples of them. The clogged fans cause the battery failure. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep the filters clean and it shouldn’t be covered.    

6.Keep the battery power level in an ideal state

 

Hybrid car batteries have an ideal state of power that suits their functions. While a 100% charged battery drains faster, having a less-than-20% power level can ruin the battery too. The batteries function ideally when the power level is between 20% and 80%. Computer systems and computer-controlled charge controllers can keep the battery charge in that range.   

7.Plan your routes to maximize battery usage

 

Strategic, effective route planning is significant for better charge management and battery health. When it comes to that, key factors such as the distance to the destination, traffic conditions, and road inclines should be considered. Drivers are encouraged to go for the routes with fewer stops and less traffic which allow them to drive smoothly. That way, they can optimize the regen system. It’s better to avoid things like hilly terrains because such conditions can strain the battery.

8.Manage temperature accordingly for a lengthy battery life

 

As much as a driver should try their best to avoid extreme weather conditions, putting effort into managing the temperature is also crucial. One can utilize battery cooling systems in case of excess heat. Also, the constant run of air conditioning can negatively affect the hybrid car battery. Therefore, using the vehicle’s ventilated seats or opening windows for air circulation is the best option when it comes to certain scenarios. 

9.Stop leaving hybrids in neutral for a very long time 

 

Earlier, the consequences of keeping a hybrid car in an idle state were discussed. Just like that, leaving hybrids in neutral for a very long time can be unhealthy too because it can lead to the hybrid automobile losing the ability to charge the high-voltage battery. Therefore, it’s better to avoid this practice in stop-start traffic given the negative impact it could have on the battery.

10.Follow the maintenance routine recommended by the manufacturer 

 

To be kept in good condition, the hybrid car battery also needs regular maintenance properly. This includes things such as battery testing and battery cleaning. Especially, the owner/driver should make sure to follow the exact schedule recommended by the manufacturer because that way, the hybrid battery has a better chance to operate well for a long time.   

 

Fortunately, due to technological advancement, hybrid technology is also evolving and modern hybrid car batteries show more resilience than their older counterparts. Because of the involvement of third-party manufacturers, nowadays, drivers have plenty of options that are cheaper when it comes to replacing the battery. That being said, given the economic and environmental constraints that are prevalent in this era, trying to make the most of components like hybrid car batteries can be good in the long run.  

 

References and further reading:

 

Research, H.A. (2020). Hybrid Batteries: Everything You Need to Know. [online] Car and Driver. Available at: https://www.caranddriver.com/research/a32768969/hybrid-battery/.

Anon, (2023). Ultimate Hybrid Battery Guide 2023 – Exclusively Hybrid. [online] Available at: https://exclusivelyhybrid.com/hybrid-battery-guide/.

Withers, S. (2024). How to extend the life of your hybrid battery. [online] The Hybrid Geek. Available at: https://thehybridgeek.com/how-to-extend-the-life-of-your-hybrid-battery/ [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].

group, A. hybrid (2022). 6 Ways to Maximize Hybrid Battery Lifespan. [online] Ace Hybrid Tech. Available at: https://acehybridgroup.com/six-ways-to-maximize-hybrid-battery-lifespan/ [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].

 

Riswick, J. (2019). What Is a Hybrid Car? [online] Car and Driver. Available at: https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a26390899/what-is-hybrid-car/.

 

 

 

 

        

 

                         

 

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